We Made National News

“We” as in South Dakota. That doesn’t happen often, so you know it’s serious.

We’ve had some crazy wild weather these past few days, west river receiving a mixture of heavy rain turned snow combined with powerful winds that the unwinterized trees couldn’t support, causing many to break and fall over. My Mom said 80% of her trees are down.

I will be going out there next week with my camera to document the damage, so I will update with pictures then. I don’t want to see it, really, because those trees are as much part of my childhood as the three girls who lived down the trail from us.

Until then, let me tell you about apple butter.


Apple butter is deliciously simple to create. We hand-picked tart apples from our tree, the one Country Man’s grandparents planted some 30 years ago.


The Quick How-To
Wash and slice them, and then mix the apples and spices in the slow cooker.


Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours, less if you use smaller apples like ours. Once the apples are softened, you can easily mash them with a fork.


You can refrigerate the entire batch for up to three weeks, or do what I did and hot water bathe them. I placed them into pint jars, twisted the lids on, and gently plopped the butter in a pot of boiling water on the stove top for 40 minutes. Take out and let cool. You should hear the *pop* of the lids as they seal.

apple butter

Apple butter on the right

Full Recipe {found here}:

12 medium Granny Smith or other cooking apples, peeled and cut into fourths
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 cup apple juice
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves



21 thoughts on “We Made National News

  1. So sorry about your childhood trees. I understand having grown up in the redwoods. I would be devastated if anything happened to them. On a happier not, I’m so excited to try this apple butter recipe. When my mom was alive she used to make amazing apple butter and I’ve been wanting to make some of my own for a long time! You read my mind!

  2. That’s terrible about all of those trees. We had a lot of that with Hurricane Hugo. I saw the photo on Yahoo News of the lady pushing her grocery cart through all of that snow! Wow that was crazy! I might just get brave enough to try the apple butter. I have never ever canned anything before.

  3. Dear Booksphotographsandartwork,
    Not all food can be canned using the hot waterbath method. Many need pressure canning or bacteria will form and that’s not a good thing! Veggies and meats need pressure canning. I’ve been doing it for years and it isn’t as scary as one might think! Check out if your local food co-op has days when you can can.

  4. Those apples look wonderful!! I wish I knew with any degree of certainty that we’ll put down roots here and have a family – so that it’s worth planting trees in the hopes that our future children and grandchildren may one day reap the benefits. This really reminded me of how transitory family life has become in this day and age – and how so few of us really HAVE roots anymore.

  5. I’m not the biggest apple butter fan but I was just at the orchard and have a bunch of apples I want to make into the same delicious treats I ate! Any recommendations?

  6. Yes, sorry about the trees. They take so long to grow, and then they can be gone in a flash. Thanks for the apple butter recipe. I love fall apple season, but I miss going to the apple orchards up in New England. We don’t have any around here in Virginia Beach.

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